Roommates, the streets of New York City are truly nothing to play with! They are some of the busiest streets in the U.S and it gets even more difficult to navigate them when you are distracted by your phone. Now, lawmakers are trying to change that.
According to CNN, the New York State Senate has just proposed a bill that criminalizes the use of any electronic device while crossing the street, with an exception for emergencies.
The bill calls for any pedestrian using electronic devices to text, check emails, or browse on the internet to get a ticket and be subject to paying fines ranging from $25 to $250.
The bill was introduced last year, but an updated version by State Senator, John Liu, was presented last week. Senators hope this time around the bill will stick.
“It’s hard not to notice the number of people texting while walking, and downright alarming to see people continuing their texting while crossing the street,” Senator Liu said. “We want New Yorkers to know it’s OK to wait the 5 seconds.”
Although the bill aims to make the NYC streets safer, it has to be approved by both the Assembly and Senate transportation committees, which could be a hard task. Chair of the Senate Transport Committee has already expressed his doubts.
CNN cites a 2019 report by the Governors Highway Safety Association estimating that 6,227 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in 2018, a number that Liu says can greatly decrease with this new bill.
“Sometimes even proposing legislation reminds people of common sense things to do and common-sense things not to do,” he said. “If nothing else, the mere introduction of this bill has got people thinking and talking.”